Tanzania hits financial inclusion target early due to mobile surge

Tristan Carlyle

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Bank of Tanzania governor Benno Ndulu believes his country is “on the cusp of a phenomenal success” after seeing the number of adults with access to financial services double in the past five years.

Under the terms of the Maya Declaration, the Bank of Tanzania committed to increase the share of the population with access to financial services from 27 percent in 2009 to 50 percent by 2015.

Speaking to Central Banking today, Ndulu revealed that Tanzania surpassed this target at the end of 2013, and is now hoping to achieve 75 percent within the next six years.

The governor singled out mobile phones as “one of the most critical links” between the unbanked population and financial services. The challenge is now to connect those people with the formal banking sector.

Ndulu explained the banking community was “really strongly against” the idea of allowing mobile net operators to offer financial services at first, but now “embrace[s] mobile financial infrastructure as a way of growing banking services in a cost-effective manner”.

The full version of this article can be accessed at the Central Banking Journal (subscription required).


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